If there's one thing that 'Stand-Up Guys' has in spades it's pedigree. Loads of it. Pacino, Walken, Arkin – that's a staggering number of hours spent up on the silver screen right there. Walken alone has been in more films than you can shake a stick at – some stunning, some great, some OK, some... well, you get what we mean. These lot are some of the most prolific (and some of the least choosey) in the world of cinema...
With a sturdy 123 roles credited to him, Walken is known for taking on pretty much everything he's offered. “I'm inclined to say 'yes',” he said in an interview with Indiewire last year. “I don't have kids, I don't have hobbies, I don’t like to travel. I’m happiest when I'm in my house getting ready to do a part. I don't do everything that comes along, but I'm inclined to want to go to work. And I've certainly done plenty of things that I don't think worked out very well, but there’s a certain aspect of just having a go at it and hoping that it works. But that's a chance I take, and sometimes things work better than other times.” In other words, for every 'Deer Hunter', there's a 'Gigli'. Take a look at his latest film 'Stand Up Guys'.
Samuel L Jackon
Considering Sam Jackson was already in his early 40s by the time he made his breakthrough - playing crack addict Gator Purify in 1991’s ‘Jungle Fever’ - he’s more than made up for lost time since. In 19 years of acting before the Spike Lee movie Jackson made 17 screen appearances as minor, sometimes totally uncredited characters (think gangster classic ‘Goodfellas’). In the 19 years after, he made over 80 movies (having now appeared in 148 productions) including the likes of ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’ the ‘Star Wars’ prequels and ‘Iron Man’. By October 2011, SLJ was the highest grossing movie star of all time, and probably the most badass too.
It was demand that seemed to keep voice artist Mel Blanc going, and damnit, did he rack up the numbers. Blanc provided voices for Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety, Sylvester the Cat, Barney Rubble, Yosemite Sam, Captain Caveman, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Speedy Gonzales and Pepe Le Pew, amongst countless others. His career spanned 60 years, during which he racked up a bafflingly massive 1037 credits in both film and TV. He was often called 'the man of a thousand voices'. It's even on his headstone. He was also, it appears, the man of a thousand jobs.
Mickey Rooney got ahead of the pack in terms of his screen credits by starting early, crawling on stage during his parents' vaudeville act at 14 months. He was part of the act at 17 months, wearing a tiny tailored tuxedo. Along the way have been highlights including 'National Velvet' and his now controversial turn in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'. And at 92, he's still plugging away having appeared in nearly 350 productions. But a quick scan of his work over the past two or three decades shows a seemingly wilful abandonment of quality control. 'Bamboo Shark'? 'Lost Stallions: The Journey Home'? 'Gerald'? Exactly.
Legend. Straight up legend. And you should fight anyone who says otherwise. But, like Walken, here's another example of a man who appears to be never happier than when working, whatever the material. The 91-year-old Hammer Horror star is as busy as ever (he squeezed in a heavy metal album last month), and currently has nearly 300 credited roles. But take recent Brit gangster stinker 'The Heavy' with Gary Stretch, Vinnie Jones and Sadie Frost, or 'Season of the Witch' with Nicolas Cage, and it's not hard to spot the stuff cluttering up an otherwise a solid legacy.
Let's be frank. He might have been Alex in 'A Clockwork Orange', and pitched up in 'Heroes' and 'Entourage', but McDowell will do any old rubbish, which would account for his sprawling 224 credited roles on IMDB. He currently has 11 projects either in pre-production or post-production, the majority of which you've never heard of. Compare this to 13 film roles in the whole of the 70s and it's a career in something of a rampant resurgence. Go get 'em, Malc.
Making this lot look like part-timers, however, is Pakistani actor Sultan Rahi. He's appeared in 813 films over his career, and is the only Pakistani actor to claim a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He's won 160 film awards. But let's face it, when you're talking numbers like that, they can't all be 'Citizen Kane'. Tragically, he was shot dead on the Grand Trunk Road, Pakistan's main highway, in 1996.